The Delight Chronicles: Crafting a Year of Happiness

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

My email box overflowed this week with ideas on how to finish 2023 and begin 2024. I bet you received plenty of tips as well:

  • Find a quiet time and list the good things you did and what you wanted to do better.
  • Reflect on the people you love and how that is essential to your life.
  • Review your pictures from last year and recall all the unique experiences from 2023.


Then, take on one of the many New Year Challenges. These may include:

You get the idea, and you may be motivated to “resolve” to change your life in 2024. It’s part of our biology to look for opportunities to start again, and the New Year, like our birthdays and other special holidays, offers that chance to pause, consider what is next and work to change the behavior.

Research shows that resolutions don’t work very well in part because we choose hard things to do and often lose our enthusiasm once we return to our regular lives. I know I have overdone it in the past and instead I pick one action as an intention, that I can consider every day.

Last year, my Intention of The Year was  Simplifying. I wrote this word on a whiteboard and kept it in sight of my desk every day as a reminder. This worked well for me for writing my weekly blog, scheduling my day, and preparing materials for client meetings.

This year, my Intention of The Year will be “Delight,” representing the daily practice of noticing and appreciating small events that make me chuckle, bring a smile, or offer the opportunity to be kind to others. Author Catherine Price suggests that an essential part of experiencing delight is to share it with others and that by adding the practice of raising a hand in the air and saying “delight!” we make a public pronouncement that labels our experience and brings some joy to share with others.

Some of my clients already do savor delight by starting a meeting with good news, sending a personal note to a client, or affirming rather than criticizing a social media post. Noticing and enjoying these small pleasures in our life is one of the paths to happiness and resilience.

I’m looking forward to it!

© Richard Citrin 2024

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